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Category Archives: Blog

SPOTLIGHT | the bigger picture project with bonnie gray

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Say hello to Bonnie Gray and ‘The Bigger Picture Project’, where she collaborates with other artists to raise funds for the Gosford Shelter.

Designing and creating only 14 individaul Italian leather pieces with the utter most colour affection and hand crafted attention. Each case is created to only cause quickened inspiration for all artists, designers, writters, hairdressers and make up artists to create without delay. A leather rolled case that helps unroll creativity.

All moneys made from this project will go to the Gosford Shelter on the Central Coast. Helping the homeless, young and old off the central coast streets into there own homes.


A confetti sky shouting thankyou to all the stunning creatives that put these leather items together – Shakirra Rees and Jodie Mowczko and thankyou to the photographers and helpers Jacs Powell, Malamoon Suz and Amy Scott

Shop for your one of a kind case here

INFO NIGHT | thursday 19th & wednesday 25th january

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YOUR FUTURE IS NOT DEFINED, it is the result of your choices and actions. Dare to Disrupt the norm, BE DIFFERENT – DO DIFFERENT Join us to discover how you can design your future.

Thursday 19th & Wednesday 25th of January, 5.30 – 7.00pm

Please RSVP via email hello@hds.nsw.edu.au or online events

Refreshments brought to you by Imbibe Living drinks

Goodies sponsored by indesign


Photo credit The Gather Collective

AWARD WINNING DESIGN | Graphic Design Students working with Inner City Winemakers

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” When I was first asked if I would like to talk to Hunter Design School students I didn’t really know what to expect. I was asked to talk to the students about what we look for in a wine label and to give them a wine label design brief.

I gave them a brief for our 2016 Tumbarumba Pinot Noir. I made the brief very broad to give the students a very wide scope.
When I was given the finished designs it was quite overwhelming! Every Student produced a label that was very unique and refreshingly original. The only issue I had was choosing which label to use. They were all of a quality that you would expect from a professional designer.

I would like to congratulate Hunter Design School for producing such talented and capable graduates”.

Rob Wilce – Director/Winemaker.
Inner City Winemakers Wickham


Through Rob’s thorough review of each design, a design was chosen as the winning design to be used for the Pinot Noir label in 2017.


Congratulations to Mel Craig with her award winning label design.

Mel has been working wholeheartedly, experimenting with new techniques and styles to create an artistic design that reflects both the Inner City Winemakers and the Newcastle lifestyle. Below is her wine bottle label with suggested re branding design ideas.


We would also like thank Carl Morgan from Zoocraft for encouraging our graphic design students and commending them on their hard work.

Working from the inside out, Carl Morgan designs and administers creative events. Primarily working with his partner Lara in design studio Zookraft, the pair orchestrates custom graphic design, illustration and typography, strong on personality and thoughtful in concept. Additionally, Carl undertakes creative festival Look Hear. The festival invites leaders in the creative industries to help create platforms for creative professionals, students and creative-curious folk, through workshops, conferences, exhibitions and more. In his spare time, Carl likes to pass on what he knows, to up-and-coming designers in local creative institutions.

TILE DESIGN | Cert IV in Design Students designing for Earp Bros

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Earp Bros offer a diverse range of tile products from around the globe. Located in Newcastle, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane (in 2017) we are proud to be a 5th generation, family-owned business with our Head Office in Carrington. Our Newcastle West Showroom loves to work with HDS and the next generation of Design Professionals in Newcastle.

A great deal of consideration, planning and procurement go into creating the Earp Bros range and we are pleased to be an exclusive importer of globally recognised brands such as Porcelanosa and Venis.

We also look to smaller, artisan manufacturers for our Bespoke range of Tile and Stone.

It was with this range of products that we invited students from HDS to develop a unique tile design and the opportunity for outstanding designs to be produced!


Students were introduced to the world of cement tile, commonly known as Encaustics. These beautiful tiles are often inspired by nature, geometry and pattern and used extensively in homes, businesses and public places throughout the world.

Each tile begins with a design – a line drawing and a selection of colours. This design is crafted into a mould by artisan hands and then each tile is poured by hand. Pigments and cement are mixed to create a smooth liquid that fits to the mould and reveals the design. Layers of cement are built up to create a tile that is 16mm thick. It’s then hydraulically pressed and cured in a water bath.

Each piece of tile interacts with the next and allows the pattern to emerge and wander over wall and floor surfaces.

Students were asked to develop a tile for a client brief and the results were diverse, creative and inspired.

From designs featuring stripes and geometry, to organic forms inspired by nature, the tiles are a testament to the knowledge students have gained throughout their course.

Like any design challenge, there were some stand-out designs and two of the students will have their designs produced in 2017.


Congratulations to runner up, Laura Hamill for her design “Cake Anyone”. A simple yet effective triangular design with on-trend terracotta and pop colour highlights – a saleable, fun tile!

And a huge congratulations to Kayla Tesoriero for her design “Mind the Gap” inspired by London’s tube and the colours of Notting Hill and Hampstead. This is a highly original and creative design that will translate well into a repeat pattern tile design – well done!

We look forward to sharing the production journey with you next year!

Check out Earp Bros full range of cement tiles


GREENERY | Pantone 2017 Colour of the Year

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A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings.

Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.

Greenery is nature’s neutral. The more submerged people are in modern life, the greater their innate craving to immerse themselves in the physical beauty and inherent unity of the natural world. This shift is reflected by the proliferation of all things expressive of Greenery in daily lives through urban planning, architecture, lifestyle and design choices globally. A constant on the periphery, Greenery is now being pulled to the forefront – it is an omnipresent hue around the world.
A life-affirming shade, Greenery is also emblematic of the pursuit of personal passions and vitality.

Read more about the colour of the year

FIBRE LOVER : Miriam Ragen

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I can remember as early as 5 years old sitting at our big kitchen table at home cutting crepe paper to make flowers and other general crafts with my mum.

This was a regular occurrence in our household as we grew up in almost country (blue mountains) where we weren’t close to the beach or shops for entertainment. My mum was a really talented quilter and completed her sewing studies at Tafe in the 80’s when the course was still on offer. I was use to seeing her knit and sew and crochet and she often gave me little projects to do with scraps of wool or material so I could learn what she was doing.

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When I was a teenager and then a young adult I lost sight of these hands on crafts and focused on my career in visual merchandising and styling until one day I came across the weaving work of Australian fibre artist Natalie Miller. She was running workshops at Alexandria’s famous design hub Koskela. With my passion for fibre arts re-ignited I ended up doing a couple of Natalie’s classes…even an intermediate weaving class at her studio in picturesque Robertson south of Sydney. I loved weaving for its chance to handle rich hand dyed wools and experience the texture of raffia and cotton. This led to another class at Koskela in Macrame. A lot of people cringe at the idea of Macrame but the style I’ve adopted is so modern I hope it changes peoples perspectives a little when they see my work. At first I wasn’t that into it…maybe its because my hands were use to the repetitive back and forth method of weaving but once I realized the potential that rope has to make so many designs with only a few knots i have persisted and developed my own style. I am a modern macramé artist. As much as I appreciate traditional macramé and without it I wouldn’t have found this art, I am definitely not satisfied by knotting traditional style macrame myself.

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I am always looking for inspiration and new ideas to make designs that are original. I love working with chunky soft cotton ropes that are so tactile and textural in my hands. I find so much enjoyment in working on big pieces that make me feel small standing next to them. To be able to physically create something that is bigger than me is so exciting! I draw some inspiration from international modern Fibre artists like Belensenra and Tanya Aguiniga but really I try to make things that I would like to see in my own home. Like most stylists I have my favorites…i’m in awe of the work of Australian stylists Glen Proebstel, Karen McCartney and Kara Rosenlund who take advantage of the natural environment and its imperfections to put together beautiful textural images.

GET CREATIVE with Miriam at her upcoming macramé workshop on Saturday 28th May : Learn 5 knots to make and take home a large macrame plant hanger using soft cotton ropes. Click here to find out more and spot.

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SiIGNWRITING : Newcastle’s Lost Pieces of Art

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Tradition signwriting is like a lost art that changed as technology advances. Where signwriters used methods that were closely related to those of the fore-bearers of this craft and did not depend on technology – they are able to set out a sign with chalk and write it by eye in freehand. They didn’t rely on fonts and normally have their own individual lettering styles yet with the ability to render fonts closely to brand and for example architectural design briefs.

We love how these traditional signs grow more beautiful with age eventually becomes what’s known as a ‘ghost sign’ as it fades revealing grounds, surfaces, brushstrokes and undercoats; generally becoming a beautiful piece of artwork.

To learn some of the basics of signwriting, join us at our upcoming signwriting workshop

Check out some of Newcastle’s lost and ghost signage provided by local members of The Lost Newcastle.


Slicks Burgers Cakes & Coffee – Image by Doug Saxon courtesy of Hidden Hamilton



Image provided by Ron Woods

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Image provided by Carol Duncan



David Cohen & Co – Image provided by David Carroll



The Roxy – Image by Greg & Syliva Ray courtesy of Hidden Hamilton




Hexham Public School – Image provided by Darren Furner



Klosters Darby St – Image by Justin & Alison Worboys



The Billy Tea – Image provided by Darren Furner 



The Astoria – Image by Christopher Carlson





A DREAMER : Naiomi Goodwin

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Heads In The Clouds Designs is a business that produces unique and original paper products including greeting cards, wall hangings, prints, custom artworks and invitations. It was born out of Naiomi’s lifelong addiction to paper products, her love of the written word and her passion for arts in all different forms.

The name was a light hearted response to all the sensible left-brained believers that see creatives are somewhat “airy-fairy”, “purple-woo-woo”, “dreamers” who have their heads in the clouds instead of their feet on the ground.

As all things in life, Heads In The Clouds Designs was an idea/opportunity born from a major upheaval in my life. Naiomi had spent her entire career in the one job as a manufacturer for an international mining company and when it closed it’s doors in 2013 a path was lit straight to the big yellow door in Parry Street.



What’s your signature style?

My favourite thing to do is turn my artworks and sketches into paper products. Instinctively what I love to do is marry positive quotes, words and affirmations with relevant and sometimes abstract drawings, transforming them into visual inspirations. I truly believe in the power of pictures and words. In a world where anxiety and negativity has a powerful hold I hope to shine a light on the positive awakening that is happening in our overall consciousness.


What inspires you?

People stepping into their potential inspires me the most. Those people fearlessly stepping into their own greatness. This can take shape in many ways, whether it’s someone starting their own business, or leaving an unhappy relationship, travelling overseas despite a fear of flying, starting a new career, going back to study, smiling in the face of serious illness; all these things trigger my shine. I love watching courage evolve in my fellow spirits.

I’m also incredibly inspired when I’m connected and that can mean a million things; family, a great book, a walk on the beach, a conversation, a good meal.

I encourage people to be present, taste the food they eat, listen to the morning sounds, feel the sand, notice the birds – When you do these things you will feel connected and inspiration will spill over into everything you do.

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Where can we find your work?

I have created an Etsy Store and I frequent the Market Scenes around the Upper Hunter, Port Stephens and Newcastle.

My work can take me in many directions from logos to invitations. The majority of my work is doing customs for clients who are looking for something unique and personal as a gift for someone they love.

My favourite custom that I’ve made was a drawing for a friends daughter of her and her horse, Annie, and at the moment I’m working on a custom water colour logo for a client who is a tarot reader.


What’s the future look like for Head’s in the Clouds Designs?

I’m currently mind-mapping for my website and online store. Getting that up and running is my next step. Design and creation is such an organic process and I am really eager to continue creating, continue designing and see where it takes me.


How did your studies help you hone your skill?

What I have learnt through studying with HDS has been invaluable – Having a keen eye for composition or an instinctive understanding of colour isn’t enough to create purposeful design, it’s a start but it’s not enough. Having studied at HDS, under the nurturing guidance of the teachers there, I was able to really understand what makes good design. I was presented with real life briefs that have helped me to set up a business that can cater to the needs and desires of my client.


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What was the learning process like at HDS?

HDS places you in the thick of things from the start. I felt like this was going to be a huge adventure and I wasn’t disappointed. Immediately you are given a sense of comfort that you’re surrounded by like-minded individuals, other students who you can relate to on a creative level. You are instructed by highly skilled and passionate educators who offer serious industry experience and during the course you are presented with real life scenarios that will help you on a professional level.


Any advice for aspiring students?

My advice for students would be to trust yourself, let go and be a vessel for your creativity. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. Sometimes you go in with a specific goal or an idea in mind but don’t let that get in the way. Go with the flow you never know where it may lead you. HDS provides you with a stage, the props and even the audience, just remember that you and you alone can choose how the script is written.


Follow Naiomi’s journey on facebook or instagram @headsinthecloud or purchase some of Naiomi’s products find her on etsy